MGoPodcast 9.18: Completely Serious About All of It

February 20, 2018

 They do have a couple of immensely punchable faces.

2018-02-20 mgopodcast 9.18

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, which now is the time to book those rooms for football next year because those fill up.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan there would be VERY long hiatuses between podcasts.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure LendingPeak Wealth ManagementAnn Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni AssociationMichigan Law Grad,Human ElementLantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. The Hoops Podcast

starts at 1:00

Bracketology: Even the biggest skeptics are coming around on Michigan as a 6-7 seed: NCAA and their buckets make it annoying because a win at Michigan State is the same as a “Quadrant One” trip to Penn State. Encouraging to see head of the selection committee say strength of nonconference is garbage. Big Ten goes to 20 games next year so we’ll see fewer Houston Baptists.

Poole eating into Matthews’s minutes, which is a nice thing to see given CM’s turnovers. MAAR is up to 20% usage. Michigan can beat anybody when they’re getting a huge shot differential from their turnover avoidance. Posting up on Dunc doesn’t work anymore. Peak Wisconsin names—Happ took 23 twos in that game!

Big Ten future: Indiana should be back up, Maryland will solidify itself, Brad Underwood a good hire at Illinois. Annually convince ourselves that Iowa will be good, but they’re 250th on defense. Penn State preview: Watkins gets angry—go get him Mo! Unlikable players in the Big Ten?

2. The Ball of Crap so We Aren’t Talking Recruiting Segment

starts at 34:01

Curling! Signing Day: Michigan recruiting imploded and we don’t know why. Otis Reese is understandable because Georgia is paying ridiculous money. Losing Herron from the 2019 class hurts.

Jim McElwain: he’s a position coach who can’t recruit, don’t think he’s a competent dude or a good dude—denigrating players like Mark Mangino. Made up a death threat. Credit card fraud. Track record as a WRs coach but as a 10th assistant he’s a wasted opportunity more than anything. Nobody down South likes him so you’re not even getting some help in Florida recruiting. Like Sherrone Moore and Ed Warriner hires. Not great that Pep is still around if it’s only because he didn’t get an NFL offer.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Top Five Things NCAA Would Cite Beilein For

starts at 52:51

The FBI is going to come down on a lot of programs and the people in Ann Arbor aren’t scared, but we’re going to try to figure out what they’d find if they put Michigan’s basketball program under the microscope. This is what Michigan State failed to do—we’re getting out in front!

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternack

starts at 1:06:26

Sweep weekend over #1 Notre Dame gives them a shot at the playoffs, provided they take care of business down the stretch vs. Arizona State—tournament upsets can really hurt teams in the 13-15 at-large area. ND was a good matchup for us because Michigan's a defensive team and can hang back.



  • “We Will Not Make It (Not Without You)”—Twin Peaks
  • “The Star Spangled Banner”—Francis Scott Key, as “performed” by Fergie
  • “Drunk and On a Star”—Kevin Morby
  • “Across 110th Street”

WTKA Roundtable 2/15/2018: Duncan Robinson is Thanked at the End

February 15, 2018

Will McElwain turn the Michigan offense into a barracuda or will they continue to flounder?

WTKA cover 2018-02-15

Things discussed:

  • Sam tries to ship Brian and the Lanifornicator. Brian: this is Greg Robinson-bad.
  • Question Enos had last year is who calls the plays? McElwain’s suggestion is going to be “let’s hump a shark.”
  • Craig: Michigan is going to have another hellbeast defense; offense has non-freshman receivers, good tight ends
  • Offensive tackle is the biggest question mark. This offseason they forgot to address the problem of can’t block anybody.
  • Warriner influence: he was a very good offensive line coach—not so much an OC.
  • Grant Newsome: Craig says he’ll be the starting LT and James Hudson is at RT; nobody else thinks Newsome will be back.
  • Sam is bullish on Drew Singleton—he’s a SAM (Furbush’s job) but think they’ll get him on the field in different roles next year. Paye and Vilain are gonna be able to get Winovich some breaks. Jeter is playing DT now.
  • Get Brian to McElwain’s presser?
  • Way to go Duncan Robinson!

WTKA Roundtable 2/8/2018: Disappointing Finishes

February 9, 2018

This looked like Rich Rod at the end of his career, this recruiting.

WTKA cover 2018-02-09

Super Bowl things discussed:

  • Brady can’t play defense (or receiver).
  • Matt Patricia to Lions: Ziggy is probably 40.

Signing Day things discussed:

  • Brian: Needs to be better, don’t think it’s going to be better enough. Best recruit they got since the season started (so after Muhammad)? Something fell apart after the professional recruiting guys came in. Pep’s an NFL guy that doesn’t help. Drevno whiffs on every big-time OT he goes after. What does the recruiting operation inside look like? This and the OL seem like the same problem.
  • Ed: Not worried, play football.
  • Craig: Should get a four-star out of every two three-stars. Coaching staff leaning on evaluation. Doesn’t agree with a lot of four- and three-star evaluations. Shouldn’t have passed on Alaric Jackson, now gonna be an All-B1G guy for Iowa.
  • Sam: The bad season was a problem.
  • They couldn’t even get guys on campus in January—this looked like Rich Rod at the end of his career. That OL was completely terrible, probably used effectively against M’s recruiters.
  • Mistake to pick fights with Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State when they don’t have the season to back it.
  • Giving Partridge the recruiting coordinator job is not a mistake: overhaul of recruiting efforts expected.
  • Lost their all-star recruiting staff from 2016-’17: Bam Richards, Gwen Bush, Tony Tuioti, et al. New people need to get up to speed on cultivating relationships.
  • At one point does Drevno get put under the microscope? Sam: Brace yourself for no changes there. OT development will be on display this year—last year they didn’t have the guys to throw at it (Ulizio, JBB, Runyan << all the guys coming off redshirts and maybe getting Newsome back)
  • Off to a very good start in 2019.

Basketball things discussed:

  • Loss to Northwestern was a bad beat. Survived Minnesota, defense let them down in the second half, Michigan can’t get into their offense until late in the shot clock.
  • Can’t fix the free throws.
  • Matthews suffers because Michigan can’t get jumpshot spacing from the PG. Other guys can’t get their own shots.
  • Craig: This team can’t shoot. Is a believer in hypnosis.
  • Ira: Second-chance points against Minnesota disappeared vs Northwestern, and so did turnovers—need transition baskets to beat up on a good defensive team.

WTKA Roundtable 2/1/2018: Man Up

February 1, 2018

Tone and direction are important, and you set those.

Things discussed:

  • Superbowl: Does Philadelphia have enough talent to defeat one-handed, 80-year-old zombie Tom Brady with a bunch of Ed Fengs at receiver? No. No they don’t.
  • Not talking about MSU: A lot of talking about MSU. Izzo’s response is wanting. The optics of John Engler as MSU president (problem with it isn’t politics but cronyism).
  • What Michigan can do: Take the lesson in transparency and make the FOIA office the example for the country instead of a whataboutism target.
  • Dantonio/Izzo: The ESPN investigation started in 2014 when Title IX office demanded every public university go back through their old sexual assault cases (e.g. the Gibbons one) and is separate from Nassar. The connection between the two is the institutional rot that allowed both to occur.
  • Kudos to MSU students, faculty, some of the media (e.g. Jemele Hill) and some of the people we interact with online (Izzone, Jerbear, Vanini) who’ve been advocating strongly for their school to come clean. Some of the local beat writers like Hondo Carpenter, Graham Couch are part of the problem.
  • Why are they culpable if they were duped? For YEARS they didn’t watch him, didn’t investigate it, didn’t take action.
  • Dennis from the OC: You can run for these leadership positions—filing deadline is May.
  • Caller: Insular attitude leads to this culture of hiding offenders.
  • Superbowl: Nike Foles has a trio of good backs, the best OL in the country. Ed thinks New England will blow them out. None of the guys said this but I’m saying it because I have some thoughts and I’m writing this podcast up: Philly has to man up and not be afraid of New England’s pick routes—the Patriots are masters of putting you out of your gameplan and that’s the worst thing you can do against them (see: Jacksonville, who’s one the best man defenses in the country, going to softbatch Cover 4 in the 4th quarter). Your best weapon is Brandon Graham vs. not great pass protection. Take the occasional pick play in the face, and keep Brady under pressure.
  • Blake Griffin to the Pistons: Over/under on how many games he plays before he breaks down. Long term this isn’t the answer except if it goes sour they can tank and get a real star to pair with Dre.
  • Michigan-Minnesota: shocked how bad they’ve fallen, except Ed says he’s not shocked.

WTKA Roundtable 1/25/2018: Grimy

January 25, 2018

They had one assist, and that was not a surprise.


Things discussed:

  • Nassar and the failure of MSU to do anything about it: By number of victims the biggest abuse spree in U.S. history—MSU didn’t feel the heat until the judge allowed five-and-a-half days of victim statements. From the beginning several years ago to Simon’s resignation letter there’s been no accountability, absolute bare minimum reticent response.
  • Nebraska & a grimy Rutgers who got one assist. Vs Nebraska we saw a lot of switches to take away Michigan’s pick & roll—that happened against Purdue too but Michigan could rise up over Haas like they couldn’t over Roby.
  • Craig: Rutgers is good at D, Nebraska isn’t that great.
  • Purdue: Expecting an insane shooting performance that the Boilermakers win because they have an ent surrounded by 50-percent shooting Legolases.
  • No, the Izzo comment wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Joel Ferguson.
  • Hockey: Won four in a row, biggest series of the year is this weekend.
  • Coaches in and out: is Ed Warriner on the staff or on Vrabel’s staff? If he sticks, could have a major impact. OSU fans: he’s not a recruiter, not an OC, but hell of a line coach.
  • Craig spilled the beans about a book. What book? A book?

MGoPodcast 9.17: The Eclosion Stage

January 23, 2018

I’m gonna wear all my clothes backwards like Kris Kross

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, or at least Brian and the equipment is; Ace called in.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be sighing to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure LendingPeak Wealth ManagementAnn Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni AssociationMichigan Law Grad,Human ElementLantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. Maryland Game

starts at 1:00 

What has happened to my basketball team, why are they running the Amaker offense? The Poole explosion. Cowan can ball—Z got six turnovers from him. M kept Hueter mostly off the box score, missed switch/moving screen got him open for the almost heartbreaking screen.

2. Nebraska/Rutgers

starts at 11:45

Michigan visits The Bank. Worst performance of the season by a lot—absolute dead legs. Just six assists. Credit to Nebraska/Miles for coming up with the just switch everything defense. This is a bubble team that’s not on the bubble: in 5/6 games Nebraska’s had an 80-90 Game Score on Torvik (% likelihood winning discounting luck)—that’s a good team. Also credit to Delany for those dead legs. Rutgers guy disputes “The Cable Subscribers”, gets no assist because Rutgers had ONE assist.

Suspect Michigan’s offensive problems aren’t just being tired: they don’t have a guy they trust to take the ball off the dribble. Barring a Simmons breakout that doesn’t appear fixable.

3. Bracketology

starts at 31:55

M seems headed for an almost certain tournament spot but it’s also very likely to be an unfairly low seed (10 right now). Big Ten looks bad to RPI but these teams are all dangerous and sweeping past everybody except road games at OSU/Purdue is no even likely. Torvik thinks 8 seed. M can’t get help from their noncon wins: UCLA is off the bubble. Texas predicted to miss the NCAAs because the Big XII is tough. Poor Maryland gets in if it’s not a bad year in the Big Ten. Need a Walton-level breakout from someone or a win at Purdue to move up a seed. Poole goes supernova?   

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternak

starts at 43:05

Michigan sweeps Penn State, which gets them ranked above Penn State and has them right smack on the top of the bubble. Win and a tie at Ohio State would be huge this weekend. M is reactive on the penalty kill—not very planned. Lavigne moved up from 56th to 18th in save % in a weekend (but what a weekend!). Marody is one guy. Love how Penn State plays hockey. The 2nd line was the best line.


  • “Where is My Mind”—Pixies
  • “No Rain”—Blind Melon
  • “Cuyahoga”—REM
  • “Across 110th Street”



WTKA Roundtable 1/18/2018: Duck and Cover

January 19, 2018

mgoblog | Michigan football, basketball, hockey, and general what-have-you

Valentine comes out of the Big Ten pro rasslin days.

WTKA cover 1-18-18

This took place before the “basketball game” of course.

Things discussed:

  • Craig was playing tennis and dodging ICBMs. Craig finished the set.
  • The MSU game: Powering through a Teddy game, State was committed to backing down Robinson and Matthews, who won man-up on Bridges. How does State do it next time?
  • Craig likes TV Teddy—said the awful calls were mostly on his cohorts. Back when Craig was a kid in the crannogs of pre-Celtic Britain, Teddy was better than the rest, and they played six basketball games a week with no ill effects.
  • Maryland game: Terps made their bricks, Michigan stayed in it with good D until the shooting arrived.
  • All hail Yaklich! Encouraging they’re this good at D without a D guy. Groundwork laid with Donlon last year. Three better defenders getting more minutes: Z, Matthews, and Teske. P&R defense is vastly improved—M always been a hedge and recover team but they’re much better at it now.
  • Second guessing: Why have Z on the floor in a free throw situation?




MGoPodcast 9.16: Another Bounty of Memories

January 15, 2018

they’re not quibbles they’re great throbbing anger touchstones.

mgopodcast 9.16

(via Madej)

We are at the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, where the conference rooms are fortunately soundproof enough that passers-by can’t hear you crying when you’re trying to eulogize the voice of great football.

We Couldn’t Have One Without the Other

We can do this because people support us. You should support them too so they’ll want to do it again next year! The show is presented by UGP & The Bo Store, and if it wasn’t for Rishi and Ryan we’d be sighing to ourselves.

Our other sponsors are also key to all of this: HomeSure LendingPeak Wealth ManagementAnn Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, the University of Michigan Alumni AssociationMichigan Law Grad,Human ElementLantana Hummus and new this week introducing Ecotelligent Homes


1. Keith Jackson Remembered

starts at 1:00

The man is remembered, with some of our favorite clips. Everywhere Keith Jackson went was the Rose Bowl. Mastery of self-effacing understatement. Interaction with Brian Griese and Bob Griese gave the 1997 season that much more gravitas.

2. Hoops: Inferior Coaching is a Good Excuse

starts at 18:02

Michigan State: A TV Teddy special can’t ruin an all-timer. Izzo eating his own liver on national television was fun. Wagner made Ward sit a few times in this game. Zavier Simpson could not be checked by Winston. Livers and the fact that Michigan can play five out is why this wasn’t the death matchup for Michigan we thought it would be pre-season. A complete defensive performance, took away the three-pointer from a scary shooting team. Beilein’s best defensive team? It could have been an incredible basketball game without Teddy—this crew is such an utter disaster and needs to be removed from the game.

Purdue: Respect to Purdue, gah the end. Zavier Simpson creates efficient and his assists are very efficient: 99th percentile? Transition defense is excellent—no more MSU running off Michigan makes, M 1st in the country in transition D. Absent something else gaudy this Michigan team is a 6th or 7th seed that nobody wants to play.

Ace talks a bit about CFS and what the community has done. CDC has historically failed those who suffer from it, stigmatized, most doctors don’t know it.

3. Gimmicky Top Five: Things That Were Supposed to Get Better But Didn’t

starts at 1:01:43

In honor players coached by Tom Izzo, we thought we’d talk about things we’re surprised haven’t improved. This was supposed to be wicked burns but they’re self-owns. Lots of self-owns. Ad reads that are self-owns. Bourbon’s fine but it’s kiddie whiskey. Let’s talk toughness, Miles Bridges. Also lots of talk of nads.

4. Ace’s Hockey Podcast wsg David Nasternak

starts at 1:18:48

Quinn Hughes is going to break somebody’s ankles. Michigan is 15th in the pairwise, ironically tied with Minnesota whom they beat three times. Big Ten is a lot better: OSU, PSU, Wisconsin, ND, Minnesota all playoff teams, Clarkston is good. M defense getting better. Special teams suffering, probably spending more time on 5-on-5. Will take a hard schedule .500 team on the bubble in Mel’s first year.




WTKA Roundtable 1/11/2018: A Pro-Style College Lifer

January 12, 2018

mgoblog | Michigan football, basketball, hockey, and general what-have-you

Things discussed:

  • Patterson gets compared to Fran Tarkenton by someone other than Craig.
  • Assistant coach turnstile: Enos WRs for now, won’t get coordinator tag until Arkansas buyout runs out.
  • John Gruden’s return to football; don’t be shocked if he goes after Pep.
  • Enos at Arkansas: had a great first year, dropped off a bit, then became a top-10 rushing offense. He’s a college lifer, and there aren’t many pro style guys who can say that.
  • The national championship game: Georgia contained Hurts’s running but they needed Tua to throw deep—and he could. RPO drive opened up Georgia’s defense, would have won the game if not for the kicker.
  • We’re guessing Tim Drevno will stay.



WTKA Roundtable 1/4/2018: A Lonely Cook

January 5, 2018

It was bad year, and it’s manifesting itself on the radio.

WTKA cover 1-4-18

Ira’s in for Sam today.

Football things discussed:

  • Brian groans
  • Every quarterback regressed this year. Unprecedented under Harbaugh, who’s had QB success since San Diego. Wasn’t just protection.
  • Down three guys on an OL that wasn’t very good to begin with.
  • No valid complaints about the defense, though some people manage to do so anyway. Microcosm of the season: constantly put behind the 8 ball and held the opponent to a beatable score.
  • Mo Hurst was the best defensive lineman in Craig’s 3,000-year lifetime. Cam made Ira laugh.
  • Would Roman come? Would we go to a pistol? Pistol gets you more of a downhill running game out of a read-option shotgun game, changes quarterback footwork.
  • One of the problems with this offense is Harbaugh might have stepped back from running the offense.
  • Go back to his third year of Stanford: things got better from there too.
  • New coaches: likely to have five new guys if Drevno and Pep are gone too, plus there’s a tenth assistant.

Hoops things discussed

  • Hoops! Ira’s not a fan of the gap: the space between the BTT and the tournament could lead to too much rust.
  • Michigan’s the third-best team in a bad league, but it’s a four-bid league. The defense is ranking better than their offense on Ed’s numbers.
  • Livers emerging is a big deal because Robinson should be out there with Teske to hide his perimeter defense, return him to his Microwave job.
  • Z is never going to be Derrick Walton but he’s becoming an excellent version of himself now that he can shoot: never doubt Beilein’s ability to make anyone a 36% 3-point shooter.
  • Donnal is at 6.3% DREB at Clemson, which means everyone on Michigan’s court is outperforming him. Wagner has improved after his draft grade circled that spot, and Teske is a major upgrade.
  • Poole is the Quinn Hughes of the basketball team: once he settles down Michigan really has something
  • When was the low point last year? Maverick Morgan or the Ohio State loss?
  • Root for Texas, UCLA and LSU. Texas might be really good—Bamba getting better could make that a signature victory this year. Central Michigan could help too.
  • Watch Oklahoma’s Trae Young: Ira says he’s Steph Curry II.